Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Demain, or Tomorrow

I took a French Literature class last year and LOVED it. My favorite reading, and current favorite poem, was written by Victor Hugo, Demain, dès l'aube. . . (Tomorrow, as Early as Dawn. . .) Hugo was a leading author of the French romantic style. These artists longed for the days of Napoleon, when the monarchy kept order and the institution of religion was respected. The majority of romantic writings longed for the past, but some looked to the future, l'avenir. Past and future were preferred to the present, which inflicted melancholy, weariness, and disillusionment upon the young French, a condition coined mal du siècle, literally maladie of the century, the "spiritual sickness" of the Romantic era (Professor Ceri Crossley, University of Birmingham). Nature, solitude, love lost, and introverted thoughts were the usual subjects of their works. Demain, dès l'aube. . ., composed of most Romantic symbols, is a well-known Romantic piece. Be sure to click on the video so you can listen to it in French while you're reading it. I highly recommend it. I'm a little biased, but I think it comes across most beautifully in French, especially when listened to, in addition to reading the poem. The translation is below the French text.

Demain, dès l'aube...

Demain, dès l'aube, à l'heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m'attends.
J'irai par la forêt, j'irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l'or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j'arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

Tomorrow, as early as dawn, at the hour when the countryside becomes white,
I will leave. You see, I know that you are waiting for me.
I will go by the forest, I will go by the mountain.
I cannot stay far from you any longer.

I will walk eyes fixed on my thoughts,
Without seeing anything outside of me, without hearing any noise,
Alone, unknown, back curved, hands crossed,
Sad, and the day for me will be like the night.

I will not look at the gold of the evening which falls,
Nor the faraway sails descending towards Harfleur.
And when I arrive, I will put on your tomb
A green bouquet of holly and flowering heather.

Hugo wrote this in response to the death of his daughter. Tragic and so beautiful. Demain, dès l'aube . . . .

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tricksy Trees!

I love Cottonwood trees. Do you want to know why, my friends? Well, first of all, they're on our lot back home, along the creek. So it reminds me of my home and my family.

I love the summertime when everyone is outside and you hear their loud voices down the street at the park. When it smells like hosewater and sprinklers, hot asphalt and trampolines, and everyone is smiling. When you can take the time to sit down for a moment in the outside air and bask in your contentment, in the golden sunlight, in the wildflowers, in the caress of the wind, in the hydrated thickness of the air, in the whispers of the trees. As you're laying in the soft, green grass, you see little white puffs of cotton float by. They drift nonchalantly along. To me, the air seems enchanted, magical as these breaths of white glide on the air currents.
And, oh, the leaves on those trees. When you listen closely, as you often can during those summer months, you will hear the wind caress the leaves. But it's not your usual 'wind rustling through the trees' sound. It is an enticing whisper, yes, but also a subdued energy, a tickle, as its leaves hush and laugh against one another. It's like a calm face with twinkling eyes. Eyes that twinkle not with curiosity, but with some secret they will playfully keep from you. These trees continue to charm and entice, lure and hypnotize, as they flash their leaves. I always find myself captivated. Because they sparkle. The leaves swivel at their stem and flash either side at you. And since one side is lighter than the other, you get a beautiful sparkling effect. Fascinating. Mesmerizing. Captivating. Ah! Clever tree! You got me again!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

White Christmas

Oh, hey, snow...

You're back again. I'm.. glad to see you.. (happy th
oughts, happy thoughts..) I realize I said some harsh things last year. I didn't mean them (little lies are ok..). But you were so wet. And so cold. And so wet. And you made me wear boots every single day. As well as a super thick coat that made me really hot whenever I was late to school. And you got kind of ugly as time wore on (no, be positive!). But that wasn't your fault. You are, really, very pretty.

I, Morgan LaRee Anderson, from this moment on, am going to appreciate the snow. No, I'm going to love it. Last year, I was not a fan. But life is a lot better when there's a constant presence of something you love rather than a constant presence of something you hate. So. You will never hear another anti-snow comment escape my lips again. In hopes of getting myself more excited for the white of the season, I am writing a few great things about the snow.

--It's very picturesque. A strong thematic element represented in many books and movies. "White Christmas," Little Women ( I know I'm obsessed..), others . . .
--It's pretty when it sparkles and when it coats everything.
--And I bought these waterproof boots that I love. So I will never be wet and miserable. And will love them and will never tire of them.
--The mountains look gorgeous-- harsh, cold, slate-colored mountain with bright white contrast.
--Skiing and snowboarding
--Some people like snow cones..
--I've always wanted to go snow-shoeing
--Polar bears and Eskimos are pretty cool. And they live in the snow.
--There's always some bizzare, never-to-happen-in-Provo chance of a snow day
--It snowed back home this year! Oh,land of perfection. If it happened there, I suppose it's ok
--Everything gets still, muffled quiet.
--Sledding and Snowmen!
--Snowflakes on eyelashes
--Sitting inside with a blanket, movie, and hot chocolate while it swirls snow outside
--The sound of it under your feet
--Theme and inspiration for great Christmas songs
--Igloos are cool
--Here are some pretty pictures of the snow and the great things that come with it. And my boots, sported by Jennifer Aniston. Yup, same pair.

Wow, that list was easier than I thought it'd be! Alright, here goes.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cool Music Video

My roommate Cailey showed this to me. The whole thing is made with webcams. Or so it seems to be by someone non-tech-savvy like me. It gets cooler as it goes. Incredible!